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Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 21, 12 at 13:59

I'm looking for a moderate-to-fast growing, drought-tolerant something to cover a large bare wall about 7' wide on the side of our house that faces southeast. It's in our side yard and not visible from the street. This spot feels hot in summer when the sun beats down on the white house, casting blinding reflective light. This area gets hot sun until early afternoon during the warmer months; in the cooler months, the afternoon sun is blocked by the garage on the south side.

This spot is in a narrow border, about 3' deep between the house and a stone path. Our soil is clay, and this border does not get regular irrigation.

I envision a narrow limbed-up shrub or small tree to walk under, easy enough to keep trimmed back from the path and house as it grows taller into a small tree form. Or, a well-mannered vine that does not engulf the house. This spot doesn't get enough winter sun for a climbing Rose. The sideyard is full of edibles (apple trees, lemon tree, Lemon Verbena, peppers) mixed with some ornamentals (Iris, Salvias). I call it my 'fun' garden. We have lots of birds but I'd prefer something without berries to litter the path.

I've considered citrus (possibly too slow growing, unless we find a large plant for a large pot) and Tecoma x smithii.

Any suggestions welcome!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 21, 12 at 21:40

Why not consider planting an espaliered fig tree against the wall? It would love the conditions, and play off your edibles theme. Grewia caffra would also work well as an espaliered hedge, as would Star Jasmine on a trellis. A Calliandra would also like this spot.


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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 22, 12 at 14:09

Or Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) Then the wall would not be hot any more. Fig would be great. The hotter the spot, the sweeter the fruit. Yummy!


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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

  • Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 22, 12 at 16:11

Thank you, I really like the idea of something espaliered on the wall, especially the fig. But how would it like the shade cast by the garage in winter?

No ivy, thank you!


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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

Figs lose their leaves in winter and go dormant.

Carla in Sac


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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 23, 12 at 17:21

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus) is not Ivy (Hedera). That's just the common name.

Yes Figs sleep in winter, so winter shade won't hurt it.


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RE: Suggestions to cover hot bare wall in narrow border

  • Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 23, 12 at 18:07

Ah - thanks hoovb, and I'm sorry I didn't research before my hasty answer. I really like the fig idea best but appreciate your suggestion as well.


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